If like me, you sometimes struggle a bit to come up with original and fun gifts for your travel-loving family members or friends, don’t worry. I’ve done the work for you! This list of the best travel gifts for kids offers you lots of inspiration. Great gift ideas for traveling children and travel-inspired presents for kids and families that love travel and explore. Looking for travel presents for your significant other? Check this guide with travel gifts for women.
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- 1 Experiences instead of toys
- 2 Best travel gifts for kids: document your trips
- 3 Practical travel gift ideas for children
- 4 Best travel games & toys
- 5 Travel presents for kids: survival tools
Experiences instead of toys
When you’re traveling, usually you’re trying to reduce the amount of luggage you have, instead of adding to it. You already pick up enough along the way, without adding a ton of toys. Experience gifts are the perfect solution. Even when you’re staying at home, the memories from a fun experience will stay while that toy car will lose their interest after a while. It seems counter-intuitive that a present we can touch and feel and that lasts longer will be less satisfying in the long run than a one-off experience. But research shows that the happiness gained from physical gifts declines over time, whereas the experiences become a part of our identity. As they say, we are the sum of our experiences.
Of course, for the gift giver, it might be less satisfying to give a coupon or a gift card, than a physical object. However, there are many creative ways to wrap such an experience gift and find the perfect experience to give is part of the fun. Why not get your kids a day pass for a fantastic water park, tickets for a sports event or a gift card to see a movie? There are also lots of fun online classes and workshops available that make a perfect no-clutter gift while you travel.
Experience gift ideas
This is by no means a complete list of experience gifts for kids, but maybe it helps to give you some ideas.
– Tickets to a fun kids museum
– Adventure activities, such as ziplining, mountain climbing, surfing or quad riding (see what’s available in your area here)
– A gift card for the movies
– Tickets to see a theatre performance or sports event
– Tickets for the zoo
– Amusement park tickets
– A cooking class
– A photography class or online photography course
– An online art or drawing course
– A dance workshop, learn how to belly dance or salsa dance
– PADI Open Water course to learn scuba diving
– E-book or audiobook subscription (consider Kindle Unlimited or Audible)
– App Store of Google Play credit
– An online coding and programming course
– A beauty treatment or massage
– An outdoor survival course
There are many many more experience gifts you can give, just think of what the person you’re buying it for likes. Are they into arts & crafts, cooking, music, photography, or are they more outdoorsy and active? What hobbies do they have?
Best travel gifts for kids: document your trips
Half the pleasure of traveling is in making all those wonderful memories and talking about all the cool things you did on your trips afterward. But it’s easy to forget all the details, so keeping a journal and taking lots of pictures is definitely recommended.
Great way for kids to document both the places they’ve been and the places that are still on their bucket list. Kids can use over 180 colorful stickers to personalize this giant fold-out map. Use them to point out what places they went, what they’ve seen and where they still want to go. On the back of the map, kids will find all kinds of fun and interesting facts about various destinations.See best price >>
What a great travel gift for kids! Keeping a journal will help you remember all those fun details later, the foods they ate, the people they met, the animals they’ve seen and the places they’ve visited. With prompts and encouragements to write, draw, collage and color their experiences on the road. Great for kids age 5-8. Older kids may want a journal that offers a bit more free space for writing.See best price >>
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I’d actually love to have one of these myself! Not only a great present for traveling kids but a great travel gift for adult travelers as well. This large poster map (35×25 inches or 90×60 cm) is a great way for your family to remember all the places you’ve been. Simply scratch off the top layer for each place you’ve visited. This map has all the US States outlined, although for a US or European road trip I’d recommend getting a map for only that region as some states or countries are very small on this true to scale map.
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Even though he’s still very young, our son loves to take photographs. How cool would it be if we didn’t have to worry about him breaking our phones or expensive camera? It would be so much more fun for him to have this shock-proof and dust-proof HD kids camera. It’s also waterproof up to 3 meters, so it would be a great addition to his kids snorkel gear or when he goes in the swimming pool. This is really a great travel gift for kids who love to take pictures. The 5-megapixel photos are good enough to put in a nice photobook or use for a journal or scrapbook. Or to print them poster size to hang in your child’s bedroom.
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This online photo course is a fantastic gift for photography minded kids. Very suitable as a kids’ birthday or Christmas present for families that are currently traveling and have limited luggage space. Your child, grandchild, niece or nephew can learn about photography in their own time. The only thing that’s required is a decent internet connection, a laptop and a digital camera. This photography course teaches the basics of photography, such as understanding your camera, photography terminology, and important lighting and composition techniques. If your child enjoys travel photography, this is the perfect gift.
Practical travel gift ideas for children
Gifts don’t always have to be toys or games, there are some really cool practical travel-related gifts as well. These useful gifts make fun presents for your children.
See best price and available designs on Amazon >>
Luggage ID tags usually aren’t a very exciting Christmas gift, but these are awesome! Who doedn’t want to tag their luggage with these fun Avenger tags? They are made of high quality durable silicone and come in lots of different designs to choose from beside these Avenger ones. The perfect way to personalize your luggage!
The perfect headphones for kids 3-8 years old. I love the volume limiting feature, it’s so much safer for those little ears. These headphones for kids are lightweight and have a comfortable fit. They’re also very durable and can handle some rough play. A great feature is that these have a sharing port, so you can connect multiple ones together and then connect them to the same device. They don’t come with a case, but they’re very compact when they’re folded. Great headphones for traveling kids.See best price and available colors on Amazon >>
We once saw a kid zip around Kuala Lumpur airport on one of these luggage scooters. It looked so much fun that we still remember it years later and will definitely get our son one when he’s a bit older. I’m sure no child will mind taking their own luggage or getting to a gate that’s a bit further away using one of these. Waiting at the airport can be so tedious, but with a kids’ suitcase like this, your children won’t mind at all. I wish I was a kid again so I could get one for myself! Amazon has different designs available.See best price and other designs on Amazon >>
See best price and available colors on Amazon >>
I know, I know, responsible parents limit their child’s screen time. But while traveling, sometimes you just need to keep your kids entertained for a while. And especially when they’re a bit tired, a tablet can do wonders. A tablet is also great to use for educational purposes, with many apps that help your child learn to count, read, do math or find out more about your current destination. We have an iPad, but I’m always afraid our little one will break it. This Fire tablet comes with a 2-year worry-free guarantee, which includes coverage in case your kids break it. And it includes a Kid-Proof case, designed to protect against bumps and drops.
Folding kids scooters for travel are awesome. Another one of those travel presents for kids guaranteed to be a success with kids and parents alike. Kids love scooting around and parents love that their kids are playing outside instead of being glued to a tablet. A kick scooter is perfect for longer walks too, especially the foldable kind that you can easily take with you. Obviously a kick scooter is most suitable for road trips but at 5-7 lbs you can definitely take it with you as checked-in luggage.
Best travel games & toys
Even though family travel means a lot of time together, it can also be stressful. It’s easy to lose track of why you’re traveling in the first place – to spend more time together. Games are a great way to create some quality family time. These lightweight and small games are perfect to kill some time while waiting at the airport, train or bus station or restaurant.
This award winning game is very easy to learn, and good fun many hours of fun. SET is a great game you can play with the whole family. A fast moving visual perception game that trains the brain while you play. Practice spacial relationships, math skills, critical thinking, logical reasoning and visual perception, all while having some family fun. What we love is that adults and kids can play together and compete against each other. Age is not an advantage and there’s no luck involved, just skill.See best price on Amazon >>
If your family is into fun and games, getting one of these is really a no-brainer. This award-winning game will spark hilarious conversations and discussions in no-time. With 100 thought-provoking and silly questions, there’s always something to talk about. Get to know your family members inside and out. This game is small and easily fits in your handbag or daypack. Perfect to take with you while traveling and great to kill time while waiting for your flight to leave, when you’re on a family road trip or while you’re waiting for your food in a restaurant.See best price >>
This book offers a variety of entertaining games and trivia questions. Certain to make everybody’s road trip a lot more fun. Not ‘mommy, are we there yet?’ but ‘mommy, can we please play another game?’ Good fun to play with family and friends and great for people of all ages. Lots of entertainment in a small book that’s easy to take with you wherever you go. The perfect birthday or Christmas present for kids who love to travel.See best price >>
What don’t you ever want to be when you grow up? What would be your ring name if you were a professional wrestler? What two words best describe you? What are you great at? Another question card game, with hilarious but also thought-provoking questions. Suitable for kids age 6+. Card games are really my favorite, they take up very little space and are good for hours of fun on the road! Loaded Questions Junior contains 200 playful and creative questions to keep you and your family entertained.See best price >>
The perfect stocking stuffer for travel-loving kids or a nice present for a birthday or farewell party. Games on the Go will spark your child’s imagination and test their memory and knowledge with lots of fun games to play. The 40 wipe-clean cards are stored in a small handy box, together with a dry-erase pen. Perfect to keep your family entertained during airport layovers, flights, long car or train trips or when you’re relaxing by the pool or at the beach. Break the boredom of a long trip by playing a few games, after all, time flies when you’re having fun.See best price >>
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Twelve of your favorite retro travel board games all in one buy. Included are Checkers, Chess, Chinese checkers, Tic Tac Toe, Backgammon, Snakes & Ladders, Solitaire, NineMen’s Morris, Auto Racing, Ludo, Space Venure, and Racing. Each game is individually boxed, so for each trip you can make a different selection, to keep things interesting. These magnetic mini board games are only 5″ (12cm) and easy to bring with you and great to use as stocking stuffers. The pieces are really small though, so these games are not suitable for very young kids.
Everybody knows and loves UNO, right? This is a new version of the classic game. A fun combination of two favorites: Emoji’s and Uno. Uno is played worldwide, so it’s a great game to play with other kids (and adults!) you meet while traveling. The perfect ice breaker. Uno is a basic game that never grows old and can be played with the whole family.See best price >>
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Watch, remember, repeat. A small-sized version of the original Simon game. Great to improve your memory and fun to play. Children can play by themselves in Solo mode or play together with family or friends in Pass It mode. This mini Simon game fits in the palm of your hand, so it’s easy to bring along. Kids as young as 4 can enjoy this game. The only downside is that this micro version doesn’t have volume control, so not great for playing in public areas.
These are such a big hit with our little boy that I just had to include them in this list of the best travel gifts for kids. These little die-cast toy cars take up very little space in our daypack and we take them everywhere, to restaurants, to the airport, to the beach… We have a special little pouch for him to put them in. He loves to play with his cars and can do so for hours. This is really the perfect travel toy for toddlers. Great as a small birthday gift for kids, as a present for a goodbye party or as a stocking stuffer. You can either get the Avengers or the Justice League version.
Travel presents for kids: survival tools
Didn’t you love survival when you were a kid? I know I did! And family trips are the best time to try out your new toys.
Every kid needs to own a pocket knife right? Learning some basic survival skills is good fun and might come in useful one day. Our son is a bit too young for it, but he’ll definitely get a pocket knife when he’s older. Depending on how responsible your child is, 7 or 8 is probably the perfect age for his or her first knife. I remember my first swiss army knife very well. I used to carry it with me wherever I went and felt real ‘grown-up’. You could say getting a pocket knife is a bit of a rite of passage into adulthood. It really is an awesome travel present for kids. Just make sure that the family isn’t traveling with carry-on only because they wouldn’t be able to bring it with them.See best price >>
With this headlamp, your child will feel like a proper little explorer! How awesome to discover caves or walk around the forest at night. Great for camping trips, but also when visiting countries where there are no streetlights. This head torchlight is rechargeable with mini USB, so you never run out of batteries. It has a hand wave sensor, you can turn it on by just waving your hand in front of it. Kids love it. Of course, you can also set it to be on constantly. The light is very bright and the headband can easily be adjusted to both child and adult size.See best price >>
This survival guide is really made with kids in mind. It contains less text and is a lot less overwhelming than adult field guides. The information is broken up in easy to process pieces, with vivid and desciptive pictures. It includes stories of the author’s own adventures too, which makes it come to life even more and adds to the imagination. With lots of tips and tricks for outdoor exploration. If your child is an outdoorsy type or if you want to encourage your kid to spend more time outdoors, this is the perfect Christmas present.
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